KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When end Alizé Mack arrived at Notre Dame in 2015, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was fresh off a breakout sophomore campaign and embarking on his first Pro Bowl season in Kansas City.
“(Going) back to college, they used to always ask who was my favorite tight end, who do I mimic,” Mack said.
The rookie tight end signed a practice squad deal with the Chiefs on Wednesday, putting him in the same room with the NFL tight end he strives to emulate. When he got to meet his hero, Mack immediately found what he thinks makes Kelce different from other tight ends.
“I think thats the thing, he's such a smart player,” Mack said. “I don't think people talk about it enough, and I've only been here a day, barely two days, being in the film room and seeing what he sees. He's a smart player, and that shows why he's one of the best.”
New Orleans selected Mack in the seventh round of this year's draft with the No. 231 overall pick. The club waived him during the cutdown to the opening week roster, but signed him to their practice squad the next day. He was released on Sept. 20, and signed with Pittsburgh's practice squad for a week.
Mack met with the Chiefs during the NFL Combine, including meeting tight ends coach Tom Melvin.
“Personally I thought it was probably my worst interview to be honest, Mack said. “To be here is a blessing.”
The 6-foot-4, 249-pound Notre Dame product caught 68 passes for 716 yards and four touchdowns over three seasons with the Fighting Irish. He ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash at the combine, ranking in the top 10 among tight ends in the 40-yard dash and the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles.
“I feel like this process has allowed me to grow and mature so much,” Mack said. “I'm excited, the journey is only beginning.”
Mack also got his first glimpse at quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Wednesday morning.
“That dude, man,” Mack said. “We just had the walkthrough, I'm like, he throws the ball so effortless.”
The Chiefs released punter Jack Fox from the practice squad to clear space for the addition of Mack. The club signed Fox last week as insurance in the wake of Dustin Colquitt's quad injury that limited him in practice.